Premier League • England

Ideal Chelsea centre-back signing revealed as Potter settles for Badiashile; Jorge Mendes ‘working hard’ on second arrival

Benoit Badiashile

Chelsea are ‘so happy’ with the signing of Benoit Badiashile even though he was not their first-choice defensive signing, while TEAMtalk has been told Jorge Mendes is ‘working hard’ on getting another player to join the Blues this month.

Badiashile swapped Monaco for Chelsea on Thursday as he moved to Stamford Bridge on a seven-and-a-half-year contract. He became the second new arrival at Chelsea in January, after the capture of striker David Datro Fofana from Molde.

Badiashile is a left-sided centre-back, which means he will likely compete with Kalidou Koulibaly for a starting spot under manager Graham Potter.

Chelsea signed Koulibaly from Napoli in the summer to replace Antonio Rudiger, though the Senegal international has yet to truly convince Blues fans. Potter has also tried Marc Cucurella on the left side of a back three, but he has not looked comfortable there.

TEAMtalk transfer insider Graeme Bailey has now revealed Chelsea are ‘so happy’ with Badiashile’s arrival. He should be able to slot right into the defence and give them some stability. And at 21 years of age, he can provide them with plenty of years of service at the top level.

The only trouble for Potter is that Badiashile was not his preferred signing to improve the defence, as he initially wanted RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol to join.

“Internally Chelsea are so happy with the signing of Benoit Badiashile,” Bailey told TEAMtalk.

“Yes, there is no denying that their first-choice on the left side was Josko Gvardiol and they won’t rule out returning for him at the future, but Badiashile was a player they liked last summer too so they insist it has not been a knee-jerk reaction in anyway.

Benoit Badiashile signing represents ‘good value’

“The money they have paid looks very good value and they don’t think it will be long before he shows that.”

Bailey has also provided an update on Chelsea’s hunt for central midfielder Enzo Fernandez. Discussions between Chelsea and Benfica have come to a standstill, but agent Mendes is eager to get an agreement sorted.

“As it stands the deal has stalled, but the information coming out is that the player is not happy,” Bailey revealed.

“Benfica do fear some sort of strike action, it is a growing trend in football, we saw it in the summer with Antony where a player can not so much force a move but very much help it along.

“Fernandez’s people have already agreed terms and although nothing is signed he knows what is on offer – although it is not just about money, the chance of playing in the Premier League is, I am told, a big lure for him.

“I understand Jorge Mendes is still working hard on getting this deal over the line.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle have been told to ‘trust’ Eddie Howe and sign a ‘luxury’ forward from Chelsea.